Pan Paper set for reopening in September, ex-staff to be paid


Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka during an inspection of Webuye Pan Paper Mills, August 22, 2016. /JOHN NALIANYA

Webuye Pan Paper Mills will be commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta and reopened in September.

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said the government will ensure all dues owed to workers are paid after the reopening.

“We will ensure our people are the immediate beneficiaries of the revival of this once-great company,” he said.

He spoke during an inspection of the facility to which he was accompanied by Water CS Eugene Wamalwa, Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula and ADC Chairman Wafwoli Bifwoli.

Pan paper was closed in 2008 after its electricity bills accumulated to more than Sh500 million, under Indian investors who later fled.

Uhuru announced plans to reopen the factory in April saying an agreement with a strategic investor had been reached.

The mill was then acquired by Rai Group. The Rai family, who run Raiply and Timsales, is said to have acquired the firm, ready to pump Sh6 billion to revive it.

The factor was to be reopened on August 30, but logistical challenges in acquiring new machinery and upgrading it pushed this back.

Uhuru said the reopening would see livelihoods of residents of Western Kenya improved through the more than 1,500 new job opportunities.

The President added that the facility which has been idle for years, will also absorb former employees.



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